Ayr, Queensland
The Ultimate Guide To Ayr

Map of the Great Barrier Reef

Ayr is a Queensland town, located on the northern approach to the Burdekin Bridge, 88 kilometres south-east of Townsville. Ayr is known for the natural beauty of the area, as well as being Australia’s richest sugar producing area and also the mango (see the Big Mango in nearby Bowen) and melon capital.

The rivers, creeks, estuaries lined with unspoiled mangrove and miles of sandy beaches make the area a mecca for fishing, crabbing, windsurfing and water skiing.

Ayr memorial to John Drysdale

The town is also home to the Burdekin Bridge, which is a great landmark to check out. If you are looking for somewhere to stay, there is plenty of accommodation available to suit all budgets. And if you are looking for somewhere to eat, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Location

Ayr is located 1270 km north of Brisbane. It lies on the central Great Barrier Reef region, midway between Bowen and (116 km to the south) and Townsville (88 km to the north).

The spectacular Burdekin Bridge is known as the silver link and was the longest bridge in Australia for many years. It is the district’s best known landmark. Lying just across the Burdekin River is Home Hill which is effectively Ayr’s sister town, although less substantial.

Burdekin Bridge

Ayr was named after the Scottish town of Ayr, the birthplace of the Queensland Premier, Thomas McIlwraith. The first European settlers in the area were sugar cane farmers. Sugar cane remains an importantindustry in the town. Ayr lies at the heart of one of the most productive sugarcane-growing areas in Australia. Three mills crush and process the local harvest.

Things to Do in Ayr, Queensland

Ayr is a great place to visit if you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including fishing, crabbing, windsurfing and water skiing.

The town is also home to the Burdekin Bridge, which is a great landmark to check out. If you are looking for somewhere to stay, there is plenty of accommodation available to suit all budgets. And if you are looking for somewhere to eat, Ayr has a number of quaint and quirky cafes and restaurants on offer.

Ayr’s Historic Town Walk

At least twenty locations are included in the Ayr Heritage Town Walk brochure which is located within two blocks from the town’s main thoroughfare (Queen Street). It takes around 90 minutes to stroll around and look at everything.

The Anzac Park Memorial

The town’s first official park is a beautiful and cool place to relax. For those who served and died in World War I, there are memorial gates (made from clay in 1926) and a lovely area that is suitable for picnics in.

Clock tower

John Drysdale, a well-known local citizen, helped to ensure that the town and the surrounding area had access to a reliable supply of fresh water, which was essential for sugar cane production, and was a pioneer in the local sugar industry.

Living Lagoon Sculptures

Sculpted in 1985 by Stephen Walker, these bronze and granite pieces line Queen Street at the Burdekin Theatre Complex’s forecourt. Native plants and animals, as well as the importance of water to the Burdekin population, are honoured in the sculpture.

The Courthouse in Ayr

The Ayr Court House cost £2000 to build and is located on Queen Street near the Burdekin Theatre Complex. If you look closely, you’ll see an arched entry highlighted by an ornate parapet on the red brick structure.

The Plantation

Plan a stop at Plantation Park, the town’s southernmost park, for a picnic or a respite from driving north. The Gubulla Munda 60-meter Giant Carpet Snake is one of its most famous features. Local Jura people have a strong connection to this animal.

Is there a beach near Ayr?

Ayr is located near several sandy beaches, including Alva Beach (pictured below), 20 minutes drive from Ayr, offers a relaxed location providing the perfect setting to unwind and explore at your own leisure.

Alva Beach

There are miles of unspoilt sandy coastline near Ayr, with popular spots for beach fishing, birdwatching and windsurfing. Alva Beach is also a close launching point for a dive tour to the world famous dive wreck, the ‘SS Yongala’.

Yongala is Australia’s largest and most intact historic shipwreck and gives you the opportunity to come face to face with the charismatic mega marine life of the world heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The wetlands surrounding Ayr offer excellent birdwatching opportunities, with over 280 species being recorded in the area.

Ayr Accommodation

The district is well served by all forms of accommodation and eating places to suit all tastes and budgets and is renowned for its friendly service.

Ayr Hotel
160 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 2477

Ayrline Motel
129 Edward St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1100

Ayr Traveller’s Motel
233 Queen Street Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 6666

Burdekin Hotel
204 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1222

Country Ayr Motel
197-199 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1700

Kalamia Hotel
50 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1259

Ayr Max Motel
4 Edward St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 2033

Motel Parkside
74 Graham St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1244

Queens Hotel
103 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 2202

Shamrock Motel
274 Queen St Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1498

Tropical City Motor Inn
Cnr Macmillan & McKenzie Sts Ayr Queensland 4807
Telephone: (07) 4783 1344

How do you get to Ayr, QLD?

Ayr is located around 1250km north of Brisbane, about 14 hours drive (but would take longer with stops along the way). It lies on the central Great Barrier Reef region, midway between Bowen and Townsville. The Bruce Highway passes through Ayr, and the town is also served by the Ayr railway station on the North Coast line.

Queensland Road Travel Times to Ayr

How far is Ayr from some of Queensland’s regional centres? If you were able to make this entire trip by car without stopping, the driving time would be…

  • Ayr is about 1 hour drive south of Townsville, or 88km.
  • Ayr is about 1 hour 20 minutes drive north of Bowen, or 116km.
  • Ayr is about 2 hours and 20 minutes drive north of Airlie Beach, or 188km.
  • Ayr is about 5 hours drive south of Cairns, or 434km.

Realistically, you’ll probably want to add a buffer on longer drives to Ayr, for rest stops and petrol along the way.

Weather and Climate in Ayr

Ayr has a tropical savanna climate with very hot, humid summers and dry winters. The wet season runs from November to April, so the best time to visit would be during the dry season.

Great Barrier Reef Experiences

There are plenty of things to experience on Great Barrier Reef.

More great Australian travel destinations
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